Israeli women do not enjoy the equality, status, and power often attributed to them by the media and popular culture. Despite significant achievements and progress, as a whole they continue to earn less than their male counterparts, are less visible and influential in the political arena, do not share equal responsibilities or privileges in the military, have unequal rights and freedoms in family life and law, and are less influential in shaping the nation's self image and cultural orientation. Bringing together classic essays by leading scholars of Israeli culture, this reader exposes the hidden causes of ongoing discrimination and links the restrictions that Israeli women experience to deeply entrenched structures, including colonial legacies, religious traditions, capitalism, nationalism, and ongoing political conflict. In contrast, the essays also explore how women act creatively to affect social change and shape public discourse in less ostensible ways. Providing balanced perspectives from the social sciences and the humanities, this comprehensive reader reflects both an emerging consensus and exciting diversity in the field. It is the definitive text for courses in Israeli women's studies.